The following are three examples of human pride getting in the way.
- The NWS and other meteorologists were harshly criticized this week for the incorrect forecasts made in the regions of NYC, Long Island, Coastal Connecticut, central NJ, Philadelphia and extreme SE Pennsylvania. Blizzard warnings were issued for many of these areas. Most were expecting 12-18" or 18-24" of snow. They got some snow, lots of sleet. but now blizzard.
- Twitter was filled with insults and anger. Media ran headlines about the failure to not make a last minute change forecast change, the storm fizzled, it gave only a glancing blow, too much hype as public loses faith in weather prediction. .
- Forecasters came to the defense of their colleagues. They pointed out it was better to be safe than sorry, and the danger of flip-flopping on forecasts.
In each case human pride played a role as I show below ...
1. When I make a decision, I resist changing it, unless something very compelling is shown to me. We all do this. We defend our decision as being right before we act upon it.
In terms of this forecast was there compelling data that would lead to a forecast change in the I-95 corridor? The maps below are snow maps from the NAM and Canadian RGEM. Both are from the Monday(13th) morning model runs. This would be the last runs prior to the final forecast for the storm. The maps reveal the area where sleet was predicted: SE PA, Philadelphia up to NYC, Long Island and Connecticut. The very areas that got it.
Why not change the forecast? Pretty compelling evidence.
God teaches us that pride goes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). In other words, my pride can cause me to stumble and fall in front of others, because I refused to change my decision, even though there was a strong reason to do so. We must all be careful. For we are all human and all have the pride.
This storm produced huge area of 20-40" snows throughout the Northeast, inches of sleet in NYC (which is really hard to move. Worse than snow), and caused winds to exceed 70 mph from NJ to MA. A widespread 1-3" of precipitation was measured in many places. This was not a glancing blow or a storm that fizzled.
Pride rears up when the opportunity comes along to tear down someone else's work. I confess it is easy to see the errors of someone else, and fail to see my own. This is why having good friends who hold you accountable is a true gift from the LORD above.
The Bible teaches that if we confess our sin, the LORD will forgive, for He is faithful (1 John 1:8-9).
Now, not every person will forgive, but if one admits he made a mistake, explains the thinking, takes responsibility, and vows to learn from it ... most people will forgive and move on. It becomes a no-story. Especially when it comes to a weather forecast.
But when I make excuses, and defend myself. When I fail to confess and be humble and admit I was wrong, bad things happen. As followers of Jesus, we are to be increasingly like Jesus. He did not defend Himself. He defending His Father, His Father's house (temple) and others. But Himself? Nope. Didn't do it. And good things came of it.
The point of this whole rambling piece is this: Be careful of your inner pride. God opposes the proud (James 4:6), because He is humble in heart. (Matt 11:29).
Enjoy the day the LORD has made and make the most of it serving Him.